It's World Bee Day! In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly made a Decision to mark World Bee Day on May 20th with the aim of raising awareness of their importance and warning of a reduction in the number of bees in the world.
It is envisaged that World Bee Day will be marked through education and activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, the dangers they face, as well as their contribution to sustainable development. The celebration of this day aims to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would make a significant contribution to solving problems related to the global food supply and the stopping of hunger in developing countries.
Of the greatest importance are wild pollinators, a diverse group of animals, the most important of which are bees, spray flies and butterflies. More than 2000 species of bees are known in Europe, and there is a particularly large diversity in the Mediterranean, while mountain habitats are home to the largest number of endemic bee species. It is important to note that honey bees, species that have been domesticated by man, although they contribute to pollination, cannot replace the role that wild pollinators play in pollination.
In the European Union, pollinators are necessary for the survival of 84 perccent of agricultural species, and 76 percent of food production depends on insect pollination. In terms of agricultural production alone, the contribution of pollinators is estimated at 15 billion euros per year. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), compiled as part of a comprehensive analysis of pollinator status, pollinators not only ensure food safety but also engage in economic activities worth 577 billion dollars. This analysis indicated that the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and that many species are endangered. This is in line with scientific knowledge about the decline in biomass and the diversity of many groups of insects. Therefore, it is crucial to stop the loss of biodiversity.
The causes of bee endangerment are the disappearance and fragmentation of habitats associated with changes in land use, then climate change and intensive agriculture. A European Parliament resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative, adopted in December last year, draws attention to the impact of pesticide use on domestic and wild bees, especially neonicotinoids, which have been shown to be harmful to bees. By encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, including reducing the use of pesticides and retaining natural vegetation on parts of agricultural land, as well as planting native vegetation on urban and other anthropogenic green areas, it can be contributed to the struggle for bee survival and thus for our own survival.
Based on the assessment according to the European Red List of Bees, made in 2014, depending on the region, there are between 315 and 555 species of bees in Croatia, of which the most endangered species are bumblebees and solitary bees, Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy writes.